World Cup will reverse poor perception of 50-over cricket: ICC

Updated: Feb 01, 2011, 22:13 PM IST

New Delhi: ICC CEO Haroon Lorgat believes next month`s cricket World Cup will dismiss fears of the demise of the 50-over format of the game and prove that all three formats can co-exist.

"I think the talk of poor interest in 50-over cricket is overstated. I firmly believe that all three forms of the game (Test, ODI and T20I) will co-exist and in fact thrive at international level," Lorgat said.

"I hope that the ICC Cricket World Cup, being the game`s flagship event and cricket`s biggest prize, will add to reversing the poor perception of 50-over cricket as some of the recent matches already have.”

"To be frank, the talk of a demise of 50-over ODI cricket is way out of whack with what we are experiencing. Players, spectators, TV viewers and administrators still see great value in the ODI and I think we are very fortunate as a sport to have three viable formats that are so popular in their own ways. I can`t think of any other sport that enjoys such an embarrassment of riches in that way," he added.

Lorgat said 2011 will witness the most open and unpredictable ICC Cricket World Cup in history.

"This year`s event promises to be one of the most open and unpredictable in history. It seems to me that the top teams are all playing some wonderful cricket at present and there is precious little to decide between them," he said.

"The Australians could make history by becoming the first team to win four in a row but they will be challenged as they are not as dominant today as they were four years ago. The other teams no doubt will sense an opportunity to wrestle `The Cup that Counts` from their tight grasp," he added.

The ICC CEO said the governing body doesn`t have plans to tinker with the format of the game but it is ready to consider changes if it is good for cricket.

"There are no plans to dramatically change the format of the 50-over game at international level. That said, we encourage our Members to experiment with different formats and initiatives to see if there are ways it can be enhanced," he said.

"The ODI today has a very different look and feel to what it was 40 years ago when the first match took place in 1971. We have always embraced change and will continue to do so. If it`s good for ODIs we will consider it," he added.

The World Cup, which is being co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, will be starting from February 19 in Dhaka.